Babylon Rising, Chapter 43

Stephanie Kovacs, appropriately enough, feels awfully lucky.  Stuck in small-town Americana, she heard the church bomb go off from her hotel room.  She was on the scene immediately and, as Murph and Laura speed to the hospital (FROM THE FREAKING POLICE STATION WTF???), she is busy revealing that the church was not the target of the bombing, but the perpetrator of the bombing, and hinting at connections between the church bomb, Farley the Fanatic, and the U.N. vandalism.

Oh, and she’s interviewing the evil, button-materials-article-writing, Dean Fallworth.

Dean Fallworth cannot appear in the story without more indications that he is eeevil, but we start off slowly this time, with Fallworth appearing to almost say “My pleasure” when Stephanie thanks him for his time.

Further showing his awfulness, Fallworth does not automatically assume the Christians are the Good Guys:

“We’ve always had a strong evangelical presence here.  Nothing wrong with that, of course.  But I believe more extreme elements—fundamentalist evangelicals, if you will—are gradually taking control.  And I believe these elements may be behind the terrible tragedy we witnessed here yesterday.”

Now, naturally, this is not meant to be the reasoned view of a man in the know in the wake of a tragedy.  This is meant to show that all non-RTCs are just waiting to persecute the innocent “fundamentalist evangelicals.”

And yeah, given the lack of evidence, it’s irresponsible journalism.  But a big part of the problem is that, judging by the comments, the evidence in the basement would lead to the conclusion of a bomb stockpile, not a bomb factory.  So right away, everything that Stephanie is talking about seems wrong, not because she is going off half-cocked or not listening to all sides of the story, but because LaHaye and Dinallo didn’t do their research about explosives.

Oh, and because Talon had the worst plan of all time.

Fallworth goes on:

“Stephanie, I think the most important thing to say is that whatever they believe—whether it’s that the end of the world is approaching or the Second Coming or whatever—they just don’t accept that you or I might take a different view, that we might have different beliefs—even different Christian beliefs.”

Again, that sounds pretty reasonable and accurate.  Read Pastor Bob’s rants in the last chapter, and the end of the world and a lack of acceptance that other people might have equally valid takes on the situation, sounds right on.  Perhaps if Tim LaHaye Pastor Bob had been more concerned about the four people who died and about the possible bomb stockpile factory in the basement than in talking about how the U.N. wants a one-world gubmint and how abortion is murder, I might be feeling a bit more generous.

And then…Fallworth truly lays the smack down on Murphy!

“It hurts me deeply to have to say this, but I believe one of our own faculty is the leading voice behind this pernicious movement.”

THE EVIL FALLWORTH IS ACCUSING MURPHY OF BEING THE LEADING VOICE OF EVANGELICALS ON CAMPUS ZOMG!

Actually, that sounds like a title that Murphy would happily embrace.

BUT…

“In the interest of the students, I will be recommending to the university board that we suspend Professor Murphy unil we conduct a proper internal inquiry.”

Fallworth will no doubt pay for such blasphemy.

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Posted on June 18, 2010, in Babylon Rising, Books. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Coming up next on America’s Fightingest Professors!

    (I believe some terrorists have combined “stockpile” and “factory” functions, but it is one of the basic mistakes one would hope they’re trained not to make.)

    I think that making sense of this requires one to understand the RTC worldview. Since the rightness of being an RTC is obvious to everyone, the only people who aren’t RTCs are those who have deliberately chosen not to be. Sure, those pernicious Godless types sound reasonable. But let ’em get you alone and out come the lentil casserole and the fantasy novels! (As opposed to All-American Torture, which is OK because we only use it on bad guys.)

  2. It’s hard to be annoyed by these chapters, for me, anyways.

    Probably because they’re designed to annoy/enrage/similar verbs a demographic that I’m not part of. It’s like how a badly-done movie can be hilarious, unless it’s a comedy, because a badly done comedy is by definition just not funny.

    So a badly done “call to arms” fails to raise so much as a “meh” from me. 😛

  3. Fallworth will no doubt pay for such blasphemy.

    Ugh, this is one of the traits I find utterly repulsive about religious extremists of any sort – they make themselves into God, so their shouting about how no one’s obeying their Divine Ordinances, when they actually mean their own idea of how things should be.

    See also: “literalism” (because their interpretation of the text is naturally the same as God’s!)

  4. “It hurts me deeply to have to say this, but I believe one of our own faculty is the leading voice behind this pernicious movement.”

    “In the interest of the students, I will be recommending to the university board that we suspend Professor Murphy unil we conduct a proper internal inquiry.”

    Aaaaand once again, reality takes a back seat. Let’s play “Perspective!”, the game where you try to imagine yourself as another person who genuinely believes (or at least wants others to accept that you believe) certain things!

    There’s been an explosion in town. You believe (or want others to believe) it’s the work of religious extremists, fanatics who react with violence when they feel they are being persecuted or silenced. You suspect that a member of your staff is one of these fanatics, possibly a ‘leading voice’ in the movement. Do you
    a.) publicly discuss your suspicions with a member of the press, openly antagonizing the dangerous fanatic?
    b.) publicly discuss (with a member of the press) your intention to have this person suspended from their job, openly antagonizing the dangerous fanatic?
    c.) Publicly declare your concern for the well being of the community, and privately suspend the dangerous fanatic on the pretense that he was at the site of an explosion and should take some time off of work to recover from his injuries, thus appearing sympathetic to the crazy person?

    See, even if you didn’t think our hero was a fanatic bomber, it would make a nice scene:
    The hero is at the hospital, tense and worried. The eeeeevil dean shows up, and in a smarmy voice tells the professor that he needn’t worry about his classes, that he can take as much time off as he needs, what between his wife and needing to help at his church. The evil dean knows how much time he volunteers at that church, and knows that now, more than ever, they’ll need people to help out. The dean could even offer to speak to the board about a longer hiatus, if that would help…

    You remember the MST3K mantra “it’s just a TV show…” well I need to keep reminding myself “it’s just bad writing, you can’t expect too much…”

  5. Thank you RodeoBob for dealing with the dastardly Dean far better than the authors, even within their strange understanding of the world. As a long time academic myself this is where any tenuous ability to suspend my disbelief crashes painfully into the realities of life.

    I was going to say that in no university/college I had dealings with would anyone who managed to become Dean act like this but perhaps Deans at the *RTC* universities do. Maybe at RTC colleges they are powerful figures who stride about campus able to destroy the careers of random professors at a whim and so they imagine that deans at nonRTC colleges are the same.

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